Saturday, 26 April 2014

THE DAY OF THE JACKAL – Frederick Forsyth, 1971

The best novel about an assassination attempt I have ever read.
This book is constructed with a meticulous attention to detail which enhances the action, rather than detracts from it.
I admit I fell for the killer (and that is even without picturing him as Edward Fox). I suspect that Frederick Forsyth wanted me to do just that. I think he knew exactly what he was doing. This ploy enables him to build up the tension, day by day, even keeping us engaged on the quiet days when The Jackal must lie low. By the time the plot reaches fruition we are almost quivering with anticipation.
But here is also another stroke of genius employed by the author. In addition to The Jackal, he also gives us his equal and opposite. Lebel is a plodding detective who, with no apparent sense of urgency, provides the perfect counterpoint. The tortoise and the hare is not an inappropriate analogy.

On the day of the assassination attempt the two personalities collide, leading to the ultimate climax.

No comments:

Post a Comment